How Boston is preparing its waterfront RE for worsening storms

Batten down the hatches
June 02, 2018 06:43PM

(Credit: Pixabay)

The ocean near Boston is warming at a faster rate than any other area in the U.S., so the city has been giving some serious thought to how climate change will change its waterfront developments.

One of the prime examples of how this reflection plays out is a recent development by Skanska, as CNBC reports,  121 Seaport, an elliptical office tower.

“That shape alone is very sustainable in that the wind on this building is far less than it would have been had it been a square or rectangle,” Skanska Commercial Development’s executive VP Charles Leatherbee told CNBC. “This building is very well prepared to withstand any major storm event.”

The conversation about how developers are planning for extreme weather is becoming more and more common under the leadership of the city’s chief of environment, energy and open space, Austin Blackmon.

“Through the city’s zoning code, we were able to say, if you want to build a large building in the City of Boston, not only do you have to take into account what the climate projections are and the floodplains are right now, but you have to look at what those projections are in the future,” Blackmon explained to CNBC. “You have to let us know how you plan to protect your building all the way through its useful life.” Though so far, Blackmon is only armed with recommendations, not regulations.

Last year, 16 different extreme weather disasters throughout the U.S. caused over $300 billion in economic loss, including damage to commercial and residential properties, which is a new national record. [CNBC]Erin Hudson